Just like many things in our daily lives, essential components of the critical urban infrastructure are dependent on the power supply. By treating wastewater, sewage treatment plants make a decisive contribution to community hygiene and environmental protection, but they are also usually the largest municipal energy consumers. Can these plants not also contribute to increase the resilience of the critical infrastructure?

Prof. Christian Schaum: In fact, sewage treatment plants can take measures to reduce their dependence on electricity supply and at the same time contribute to the stabilization of the electricity grid. Larger sewage treatment plants already produce biogas from sewage sludge, which can then be used to generate electricity and heat. Within the framework of various research projects, we are investigating how these processes can be optimized. This includes possibilities for demand-oriented production and intermediate storage of gas, as well as the use of additional starting materials for gas production, so-called co-substrates, such as food waste.